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MLB: Giants’ Kevin Gausman faces D-backs, looks to get back on track

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Kevin Gausman was one of the best pitchers in baseball when he compiled a 1.73 ERA before the All-Star break.

But things haven’t gone well for the San Francisco right-hander since he made the All-Star team for the first time in his career.

Gausman will try to regain his form when the Giants meet the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night in the third contest of a four-game set in Phoenix.

Gausman, 30, is 0-2 with an 8.49 ERA in three outings since play resumed after the break. The right-hander has allowed 11 runs, 17 hits and nine walks in just 11 2/3 innings.

Gausman (9-5) still sports a tidy 2.35 season ERA, but the recent performances certainly have been concerning. Giants manager Gabe Kapler is hopeful that a turnaround is about to occur.

“We know that he’s capable of going deep into games and being a dominant starting pitcher in this league against the best lineups,” Kapler said.

Gausman has won both of his starts against the Diamondbacks this season while allowing two runs and nine hits over 13 innings. He has struck out 15 and walked three.

Overall, Gausman is 4-1 with a 2.39 ERA in seven appearances (six starts) vs. Arizona. He has struggled with Kole Calhoun (7-for-21, one homer) while stifling Ketel Marte (1-for-16), Christian Walker (1-for-10) and Nick Ahmed (2-for-12).

The two teams split the first two contests of the series.

San Francisco won the opener 11-8 in 10 innings on Monday, while the Diamondbacks recorded a 3-1 victory Tuesday as Madison Bumgarner defeated his former teammates for the first time since leaving as a free agent following the 2019 season.

Bumgarner gave up one run, six hits, one walk and struck out four in seven innings.

“It couldn’t have been a better night for us on the mound,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said after his team halted a three-game slide. “Offensively, things worked really well. We scored those three runs and made it stand up.”

San Francisco had a three-game winning streak end on Tuesday but remains 3 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West.

Right-hander Zac Gallen (1-5, 4.61 ERA) will start for the Diamondbacks on Wednesday. He has lost five straight decisions since recording his lone win on April 25.

Gallen pitched well in a no-decision against the Dodgers last Friday. He struck out eight in six innings and allowed two runs, five hits and one walk.

Gallen, who turned 26 on Tuesday, has lost twice to the Giants this season while pitching 4 2/3 innings. He gave up seven runs and nine hits and allowed homers to Curt Casali and Alex Dickerson.

Overall, Gallen is 1-3 with a 5.16 ERA in five career starts against San Francisco. Mike Yastrzemski is 4-for-11 against him while Wilmer Flores (0-for-8) and Dickerson (1-for-9) have struggled.

The Giants are expected to activate Tommy La Stella before Wednesday’s game and start him at second base. La Stella has missed the past three months with left- hamstring and right-thumb injuries.

More thrilling to La Stella is again getting to play with Kris Bryant, his former teammate with the Chicago Cubs. Bryant was acquired from the Cubs before last week’s trading deadline.

“I was very excited when I saw the acquisition,” La Stella said of Bryant. “It’s going to be a great fit. He’s awesome. Great guy, humble. One of the rare guys who is as talented as he is but is still genuinely humble.”

Bryant went hitless in four at-bats on Tuesday and is 2-for-12 with one homer in three games with San Francisco.

–Field Level Media

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